How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve With a Bonfire

There’s nothing like partying to celebrate when the old year fades out and the new year rings in. Instead of having your typical indoor festivities, whether it be a formal night of wining and dining or a casual one of games and watching the ball drop, have it outdoors for something truly new. There’s no better venue than the beach, where you can gather around a warm bonfire for fun with friends and family. Here’s everything you need to guarantee a memorable New Year’s Eve.

Something to Wear

If you start your party early enough in the evening, you can have a chance to get in the water, so wear your swimsuit. With the colder weather, a maillot, tankini, swim dress, or other one-piece is probably best to put on for the most warmth without sacrificing style (though the bonfire will also keep you toasty).

Now is the time to find the perfect cover-up as well. A short dress or t-shirt cover-up can be worn with leggings, joggers, harem, or sheer pants underneath. You can wear some comfy sweats and wrap yourself in a fashionable shawl or sporty hoodie. A maxi dress eliminates the need for other leg wear and gives you an elegant look to match the occasion.

Something to Eat

You can’t have a bonfire without the classic s’more. Roasting marshmallows and hotdogs comes with the territory of fires. You can offer regular party snacks, too, such as chips and dip. If you want more filling food options, then make meat and veggie (or just veggie) kebabs. You can also wrap a potato and some vegetables in tin foil and throw it in the fire for easy cooking and cleanup. Provide hot drinks such as hot cocoa, apple cider, coffee, and tea instead of cold sodas. Also have something special to drink for when midnight strikes.

A unique dessert to make is orange cakes. Cut off the tops of oranges and scoop out the flesh. Pour prepared cake batter inside, only filling them up halfway. Wrap the bottoms in foil and bake them in the fire until they’re done. For a healthier option, roast some fruit. Bananas, peaches, and pineapple are delicious choices.

Something to Do

While it’s fun to sit and catch up with people, New Year’s Eve is a long night, and you can soon run out of things to talk about. Games are great for keeping your guests entertained. Ask everyone to bring their favorite party game to play, keeping in mind the amount and quality of lighting you will have available. However, you don’t need store-bought games in order to have a good time. Simple games like “I’ve Never” and “Two Truths and a Lie” are really funny and don’t require anything but people to play.

If you’re a more active bunch, bring equipment for the following sports:

  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Badminton
  • Paddle ball

Even going for a walk along the shore is great exercise and will help you keep warm, too. Take the opportunity to snap some photos of all of you together at the scenic venue. Candid shots are great as well, especially for catching funny moments.

Whatever you decide to do, an easy way to bring your supplies along is with a large beach bag. It’s much cuter than using something like a duffel bag, and you won’t have to worry about getting your regular tote bags sandy and wet.

A Night to Remember

With the right outfit, food, and entertainment, you can have a memorable bonfire celebration and a New Year’s Eve unlike any other. Let Swimsuits Direct help you find what you need to look beautiful and be comfortable on this milestone night.

Everything You Need to Pack for Your Next Lake Trip

The typical lake trip is not a solitary experience. Instead, it is most likely to be a weekend with family, great friends and action packed fun. In order to insure that a lake trip is as little stress as possible, planning in advance is a must. Here are five things that you will want to make certain are on your list for your next lake trip.

1.A Boat

While it is relaxing and refreshing to sit on the shore and watch the world go by, there is really nothing like having access to a boat while you are at the lake. Whether you rent, borrow or own a boat of your own, it can change the feel of a lake trip from relaxing and slightly mundane to action packed and fraught with additional adrenaline.

2.Water Toys

Those who have spent time at the lake with a boat, but without any additional water toys often find themselves a little envious of the extra activities that others are having! From slick water skis to brightly colored, banana shaped pull behind rafts, the options are almost endless. Those who prefer to remain stationary often opt for a water trampoline on which they can alternate lounging and leaping.

3. Multiple Bathing Suits

Many choose to frequent lakes because they are in quiet, remote locations. The down side to being in nature is that there is rarely a retail store nearby. For this reason alone, it is a great idea to bring multiple bathing suits on a lake trip. One popular type of suit for women, enjoying a weekend of water sports is the Malliot. The one-piece construction of this suit allows for freedom of movement whether one is dangling from a rope swing or relaxing on a camp chair. Tankinis are also a top choice for many women because of the ease of wear. Packing one suit per day is typically a good rule of thumb for a lake trip.

4. Bring the Right Cooler

The right cooler can make all the difference on a lake weekend. There is little worse than reaching into a cooler in anticipation of finding a sandwich to stave off the raving hunger that comes with water play, only to end up with a handful of soggy bread, meat and cheese scraps. Thankfully, coolers have come a long way in the last 20 years, and there are many excellent options available. Make sure to look for a cooler that can fit a weekend’s worth of perishables, is easy to carry, and has a way to keep water and ice separate from your food.

5. Campfire Supplies

All too often, evenings in everyday life are every bit as busy as daytime. In some cases, evening engagements run late into the night, leaving little time for real relaxation. Lake trips with nightly campfires are just the right medicine to offset the stresses and worries of everyday life. There must be some magic to the combination of wood smoke wafting through the trees, flickering light and muted voices. In order to ensure that you are properly prepared to enjoy the experience, it is important to have comfy camp chairs or recliners, a guitar or two, and ingredients to make s’mores.

By using this list to prepare for your next lake trip, you will find that much stress and worry is removed from the packing and planning experience. Some even find that having a standard packing list stored with their trip equipment is the easiest way. Why make a new list for each trip? Why re-invent the wheel? Instead, make sure you have the right items before you start so that you can fully enjoy your next lake trip.

5 of the Best Lakes to Visit in the US

Can’t get to the ocean? No problem. These five lakes will make you feel like you’re relaxing oceanside on your next great vacation.

1. Lake Havasu

This majestic lake sits nearby the Colorado River in Arizona and is aptly called “The Personal Watercraft Capital of the World.” The many tourists enjoy not just the warm weather, but also swimming, boating, Jet skiing, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Lake Havasu City also has tourist activities, like hot air balloon rides and golf, making it a great travel destination.

2. Tenaya Lake

The east beach on this Yosemite lake in California lets visitors feel like they’re in a wonderfully secluded private getaway. The beach has enough sun worshippers that you’ll have plenty of company, but not so much that it will feel overcrowded. Yosemite itself makes a great vacation spot, and the view from the beach is just as breathtaking as the national park itself.

3. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is so large that it touches four states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Unsurprisingly, it has tons of beaches to choose from and more tourist activities than a person could count. Its size and reputation definitely make it one of the best lakes to visit in the U.S.

4. Lake Tahoe

This completely freshwater lake straddles California and Nevada and is extremely clear. The City of Lake Tahoe is a major tourist destination in and of itself, with a quaint but active downtown, tons of hiking activities, and handful of casinos. It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Lake Tahoe; there’s always tons to do, including major skiing in winter.

5. Lake Norman

Like Lake Havasu, Lake Norman in North Carolina is a great spot for water sports. You can also take a chartered cruise and see some of the 500 miles of shoreline. People also enjoy fishing, biking along the pathways, and even paddle boarding. No matter what you end up doing, this flirty bikini is perfect for your Lake Norman vacation.

Taking a weekend away at the lake with your family or friends is a great way to unwind this season!

7 Stunning Becca Bathing Suits

When you’re headed for a day at the beach, you don’t have to leave your sense of fashion behind. Becca bathing suits are fun, funky and fresh. This line features a diverse selection of styles and cuts, so there’s something for every one to love.

1. The Becca Caravan One Piece – This fun, funky print will draw everyone’s attention and highlight your best features. The diagonal pattern creates a slim waistline and draws the eye upward to the lattice front, where tribal beads accentuate your décolletage.

2. The Becca Caravan Halter – For fans of the Caravan print who are looking to show a little more skin, the Caravan Halter is a fun, sexy choice. The unique cross front straps become a multi-stringed lattice back with tribal beads, creating a stunning look whether you’re coming or going.

3. The Becca Wild and Free Bralette – Channel your inner tigress when you wear this spirited suit. Bold black strips below the bust line and brightly colored lattice straps with tribal beads give this suit a wild, sexy look.

4. The Becca Sunrise Bralette – The warm colors and playful ties of this fun, feisty bikini make it a perfect choice for a day at the beach. The top provides plenty of support for busty babes but includes removable cups for those who like a bit of a boost.

5. The Becca Janis Halter – The hand made macramé front is the highlight of this brilliant azure bikini. You’ll love the unique look, and the looks you’ll attract with this sensational suit!

6. The Becca Venise Halter – Sexy and elegant are perfectly paired in this black bikini, which features a venise lace applique on top and subtle matching lace at the hips.

7. The Color Code Halter – For sunbathers seeking a classic bikini style, look no further than the Color Code Halter. This tie-on bikini boasts cups with perfect coverage and a bottom-accentuating bottom in several eye-catching colors.

Whether you’re looking for itsy, bitsy and bright or full-coverage and fantastic, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here. Get ready to wow in one of these stunning Becca bathing suits.

5 Healthy and Kid-Friendly Foods

If you are in need of healthy and kid-friendly snack ideas for those trips to the beach or while you’re on the go, you’ll want to pack some snacks into your beach bag that will fill your kids’ appetites and cravings. Here are five healthy and kid-friendly foods that even finicky eaters and adults will love.

Granola

Granola is a very nutritious snack that you can take anywhere. You can purchase it in crumbled up form or bars. If you choose crumbled granola, you can make it even tastier by mixing in some dried fruits, such as raisins, cranberries, strawberries or blueberries. Store the granola into small baggies to keep things mess-free.

Frozen Fruit

If you have some time to plan ahead, try freezing some of your children’s favorite fruits. Grapes, orange and banana slices, kiwi fruit and watermelon are all very tasty and mouthwatering fruits that will fill your children’s bellies and keep them hydrated at the same time. Store the frozen fruit into an airtight container or some plastic baggies.

Mini Pancakes

Mini pancakes are something you can purchase already made or you can make them yourself. No matter which option you choose, don’t forget to add a little protein by adding a slice or two of turkey and some Swiss or American cheese before rolling them up. Place the mini pancakes into small plastic baggies.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Very few kids and adults can resist the lure of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Why not make things more nutritious by nixing the jelly and adding some banana slices or raisins? Cut the sandwiches into little squares or triangles and store them in an airtight container.

Applesauce and Graham Crackers

Applesauce cups and graham crackers are a very tasty snack that is bound to please anyone who is craving something sweet. Both come prepackaged and in individual servings to make eating healthy while on the go a breeze.

You don’t have to feed your kids large meals to keep them from being hungry while on the go. The above snacks are very nutritious, and will keep your children full of energy. So the next time you decide to take them to the beach, don’t forget to toss some healthy snacks into your bag along with your bandeau tankini and sunglasses.

6 Healthy Snacks You Can Take Anywhere

One of the biggest challenges you may encounter when on a diet is eating healthy while on the go. Here are six healthy snacks you can take anywhere in your beach bag.

Bite Size Fruits and Veggies

Carrots, celery sticks, apple slices, and grapes make great snack size foods that you can take and eat anywhere. Throw some ranch, hummus or your favorite your low-fat yogurt on the side for some extra flavor.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are great snacks to eat if you are pressed for time but are starving. Protein takes longer for your body to digest and can make you feel full longer. Protein bars are available in many different flavors.

Tortilla Wrap Sandwiches

You can make your favorite sandwiches healthier by using tortilla wraps instead of bread. Place a slice of turkey or chicken on top of a whole wheat tortilla. Next add some cheese and a thin layer of avocado or hummus. Roll the tortilla up and place it into a small baggie to enjoy later or slice it into little pinwheels to make it a fun and convenient finger food.

Cheese Sticks

If you need some protein to curb your appetite and give you a boost of energy, you can’t go wrong with cheese sticks. You can find them already packaged as sticks and cubes. Or you can buy your cheese in blocks and cut them up yourself.

Edamame

Edamame is one veggie that makes a great snack for anyone who is on the go because it is packed full of iron, omega 3-fatty acids and protein. Steam your edamame in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to go, simply sprinkle them with a little salt or your favorite spice. Place them into a baggie to enjoy while you’re out and about.

Nuts

Peanuts, cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds are nuts that are full of protein, magnesium, and other nutrients. They don’t require any preparation. You can purchase them in bulk or as individual serving sizes so you can eat them whenever you feel the urge.

Don’t let your healthy eating habits stress you out when you are on the go. Think outside of the box and you‘ll be able to come up with plenty more healthy snack ideas that you can enjoy at any time.

How to De-Stress From a Busy Lifestyle

If you feel overwhelmed thinking that you don’t have enough time in the day, you are not alone. Over 50 percent of Americans feel stressed out on a daily basis. Issues at work, personal finances, lack of sleep and a hectic family schedule are all factors that contribute to mounting levels of stress. You may wonder how to de-stress in a world filled with constant activity.

Tips for Relaxing

Being surrounding by innovation and technology makes it hard to relax. When you find you’ve had enough and want to decompress, a great place to start by going on a walk. Take a break and just let your mind wander. Other tips for unwinding include:

  • Exercise. Any form of exercise, from yoga to swimming and bicycle riding, significantly reduces your stress. Experts believe that 30 minutes at a time will help break up your stress, pump up your endorphins, improve your mood and blow off some steam.
  • Eating healthy foods. Many people tend to indulge in foods that add inches to their waistline when they’re stressed. Ditch the diet sodas, candy bars and chips and opt for broccoli, asparagus, avocados, blueberries, almonds, oranges and fish.
  • Sleep. Not getting quality sleep creates raises stress levels. To fall asleep faster, try journaling and cutting out food and all technology for 60 minutes before bed.
  • Read a book. If you really want to escape from the stress of life, reading is an ideal place to start. Concentrating when you read is a form of distraction that can lower your stress more than 65 percent.
  • Be grateful. Research is quite clear that those who have a positive perspective of life experience plenty of benefits that lead to reduced levels of stress. The results of being thankful include being happier, having stronger relationships, better health and lower levels of depression.

It’s okay to recognize that life is physically and emotionally tiring, but that is also a reminder of the importance of slowing down. You’ll be glad you did.

Why You Should Take More Time to Go to the Pool

Swimming is one of America’s favorite hobbies. The pool is the perfect place for anyone no matter what their age is. It is one of the most soothing and relaxing environments you can find that is close to home. Here are several reasons why you should spend more time at the pool.

The Perfect Escape

You don’t need to plan or spend much money just to take a short vacation from the real world. Simply grab your swimsuit and head to the pool.

A Great Place for Everyone

If you have kids or are babysitting the grandkids, the pool is a great place to go where everyone can have fun. Don’t forget to pack your beach bag with a few pool-friendly snacks and games for them to enjoy.

A Great Workout Space

You don’t have to spend all of your time indoors at a gym or inside of your home to get in shape. Take a trip to your pool and swim a few laps or do some water aerobics. Exercising in the pool is much easier on your body because it reduces the amount of impact on your joints.

Affordable Entertainment

Going to the pool is one of the most affordable forms of entertainment available. It doesn’t matter if the pool is a part of your property or the local one at the beach. You can save more of your hard-earned money and have fun at the same time.

A Great Place to Network

If your pool of choice is the one at the beach or somewhere nearby to your home, you’re in luck. This is a great place to network and meet new people. No matter what your interests are, you’ll find all kinds of people to talk and become friends with.

Whenever you go to the pool, make sure you’re always in style. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit, gear, bottled water, sun hat and some sunglasses.

How to Take the Perfect Family Beach Photo

Great looking swimsuit? Check. Smiling faces? Check. Perfect family beach photo? Check! Taking the perfect picture of your clan can be simple if you keep a few thoughts in mind. Here are five steps for better photographs.

  1. Notice the Background

People don’t always pick up after themselves while at the beach, which means there could be some errant paper cups and chip bags sneaking into your picture. Make a quick scan of the ground so you aren’t photo bombed by a garbage can or clumps of seaweed.

  1. Focus on the People

Any time you have a great scene, it can be tempting to try to include it with the people. This usually ends with a poor picture of both subjects. Instead, make the family the focus and the beach will stay as a backdrop. You’ll still capture the feeling of where you are, but you’ll have the most important focal point.

  1. Watch the Horizon Line

Nothing shouts amateur like a line cutting through the head or neck of a person. Keep the horizon line, where the sun meets the water, lower or higher than the subject. Be careful to keep the line straight, as well.

  1.  Be Wary of Harsh Lighting

No one looks good squinting, so take advantage of cloud cover if you have it. If not, try putting the people under an umbrella or tree. Evening hours are an excellent time to snap because the natural lighting is softer.

  1. Remember Where You Are

Most likely you’re shooting at the beach because you want to capture the enjoyment of being there. So, let your family have fun. You’ll see more smiles if everyone is allowed to be free and natural, rather than standing like they are in a studio.

Beautiful photographs of your family are possible at the beach, providing you do a bit of planning. Remember where you want the focus to be, what you want to capture, and then allow the subjects to enjoy themselves.

Why It’s OK to Go to the Pool Solo

The pool is a great place to be no matter what your age or swimming abilities are. If you need a reason to go to the pool by yourself, here are several.

Get in Shape

Working is an activity that can be done alone or in groups. Regardless of your age or fitness level, swimming is a great low-impact exercise that you can do alone to get in shape. So whether you want to learn to swim or work on your form, you can find everything you need at your local pool. If you need some motivation, wear a swimming suit that has bold and vibrant colors to keep you in a great mood during your workouts.

Meet New People

If you find it hard or challenging to meet new people or make friends, the pool is the perfect place for you to be. The pool is one place that you can find people from all walks of life and interests to mix and mingle with.

To Relax

Whether you plan to get wet or lounge around and read a book, the pool is the perfect place to go. It is a stress-free environment that makes it easy for you to relax. Just make sure you have everything you need to have a truly peaceful and soothing adventure. All you need is some bottled water, your favorite book, music player and sunscreen inside of your beach bag.

To Swim

If you like swimming and don’t have your own pool, then your local pool is where you should go. You can frolic on the water slides, swim or lounge along the edge of the water. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll be able to stay cool while getting wet.

No trip to the pool is complete without the right swimming gear. Protect yourself from the sun and heat by always keeping a pair of sunglasses and a beach hat with you.